Have you ever wondered if you were attacked whether or not you'd be able to scream out for help or if you'd be paralyzed with fear? (Or am I just a crazy person because I even wonder about that sort of thing?) Well, I discovered the answer to that question this weekend. No surprise to me, I'm the too-scared-to-scream-and-fight type.
This past Saturday I decided to take a trail I've never taken before while walking Huck. One that Steven had told me about and sounded easy enough to navigate. Bad idea. After an hour of walking, by which time I should have been close to home again, I realized I was completely and utterly lost...
After another hour of walking, I was beginning to panic...
Feeling tired and anxious, I came to another "Y" in the trail I decided to take a right. But Huckleberry, who walks off lease, took a left. I keep walking, knowing that Huck would end up running past me any minute, but instead he started barking at me. I told him to come along but he refused to move and continued to bark. "What the heck," I thought. If Huck wants to go left, left it is. I didn't care at this point. I was too exhausted to think!
Little did I know Huck was having a Lassie moment. Within 15 minutes I broke out onto a trail I was very familiar with and realized I was about 2 miles away from home. I think Huck was getting pretty tried too and was ready to head back home. I'm not sure if he knew I was lost, but he definitely knew what direction home was in and how to get me back on the right trail.
While heading home there is a sharp bend in this trail where you can't see what's ahead of you. When I came around the bend I saw a massive black dog staring me down. Huck was about 20 feet ahead of me and off the trail busily investigating something in the woods. I froze as the black dog barred his teeth, raised the hair on his back, and charged at me.
I was literally paralyzed. Could not move a muscle, couldn't scream, couldn't prepare my legs to give that dog a good, swift kick. I simply froze. All of a sudden, Huck charged out of the woods and sideswiped that dog right before it reached me, crashing down in a mix of teeth, growls, and fur onto the ground. Unfortunately, the dog was quite large and had Huck underneath him. It was all over in a few seconds I'm sure, although to me it felt like minutes had passed, as the black dog's owner ran up and pulled his dog off Huck. He began apologizing to me but I didn't say a word as I hooked Huck onto his leash and began walking away. When the man and his rabid beast were out of sight, I sat down on the trail and cried. I was exhausted and emotionally drained from the distance I'd walked and the scary encounter with that dog. All I wanted to do was hold on to Huck.
We finally made it home where we both crashed and took a much needed nap. A 3 hour, 6+ mile walk is no easy feat when you're 5 months pregnant, but I feel quiet certain that I probably wouldn't have made it home without Huck. I think Steven would have had to send out a search party for me (where they would have found my remains next to a rabid black dog..)!
Not only did Huck lead me home, but he attacked that other dog to protect me. Never in my life have I seen Huck even growl at another dog! He definitely read him as a threat and took action to protect his momma. And here I thought the only thing this golden pup was good for was kisses and picking up the crumbs from under the table..
Man, I love my dog.
So thanks, Hucklebutt! You're my new superhero and the very best four legged companion a girl could have.